National Falls Prevention Day

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September 23 is National Falls Prevention Day

Falls are the leading cause of injury death for older Americans. One out of every four people ages 65 years and older fall each year; the risk increases as we age.

By 2020, the cost of fall injuries is expected to reach $55 billion, but falls are largely preventable.

Many communities offer fall prevention exercise programs at senior centers. Good exercises build balance, strength and flexibility. Talk to your medical professional and ask for an assessment of your falling risk; ask if any of your medications could be problematic.

Keep your home safe with good lighting and removal of tripping hazards. Install grab bars in bath or shower. Wear proper footwear with soles that grip and heels that are stable.

For more information on fall prevention visit the National Council on Aging at ncoa.org/healthyaging/falls-prevention.
Your Heart’s Best Friend: A Dog

Owning a pet may help maintain a healthy heart, especially if that pet is a dog, according to the first analysis of data from a recent study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

In a 2019 evaluation, the study looked at 1,769 subjects with no history of heart disease and scored them based on ideal health behaviors and factors, as outlined by the American Heart Association: body mass index, diet, physical activity, smoking status, blood pressure, blood glucose and total cholesterol.

Those that owned a pet, particularly a dog, had the highest cardiovascular health scores.
Hope for those with tinnitus and autism
Combining electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve with repetitive musical tones improves
processing of sounds in the brain, according to new research published in the Journal of
Neurophysiology. The discovery may provide relief for chronic ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
and aid communication skills in people with autism and other neurological disorders.

Neurons in the brain are tuned to respond to specific tone frequencies—similar to higher
and lower notes on a musical scale—that allow people to hear.

When someone has tinnitus, neurons respond in a hyperactive manner that causes perception of a sound that does not exist,” wrote Crystal Engineer, PhD, author of the paper.

Restoring normal activity in the auditory pathway is the most promising approach to treating chronic tinnitus.”

People with autism often have auditory processing disorders, too. Improving neuroplasticity—the ability of the brain’s neurons to adapt—may improve communication in people with autism.
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